Category Archives: Poetry

The Passing of an Oak

In 1905, workers in Monterey, California cut down a dead oak tree and tossed it into Monterey Bay. Perhaps they did not know that it was the most famous tree in the city’s history. … Three centuries before, on 3 … Continue reading

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In the Realms of Gold

The final poet that Ella Sterling Cummins profiles in her curious but informative 1893 review of Californian writers, The Story of the Files, is a young Italian immigrant: Among the volumes of verse published in California none have so pathetic … Continue reading

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Poems

Paul Elder published a lot of poetry in his career: of the 420 titles on the checklist, at least sixty-one (15%) are poetry. Alas, not much of it is good poetry. (In this Paul Elder was not alone: I have a friend … Continue reading

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Sonnets of Spinsterhood

In 1915, the poet Snow Langley was 36 years old and unmarried: a “spinster” in the thankfully now-obsolete parlance. Spinning wool was typically the job of unmarried women, and spinster was used in legal documents as early as the 1600s to … Continue reading

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Abelard and Heloise

The story of Abelard and Heloise is too well known to need repetition here, for these two rank with the few great historic lovers of the world, as well they may. The love of Heloise was sublime in its intensity, … Continue reading

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